About one in 25 adults develops a swallowing problem every year. About 3-9% of the general population seek treatment for a voice disorder, but the experts believe many more people develop voice changes, yet don’t get medical care. The team of experienced physicians at Southern ENT Associates are experts in getting to the underlying cause of voice and throat disorders and developing a customized treatment for each patient. If you experience throat problems, call one of the six office locations in South Louisiana that’s most convenient for you, or book an appointment online.
Throat disorders primarily include two types of problems, voice disorders, and swallowing disorders:
Problems can occur at any step of the process that can make it hard to swallow.
Hoarseness is the generic term used to describe the changes that occur when you have a voice disorder. Your voice may sound breathy, raspy, softer, or lower pitched, for example.
You can become hoarse due to inflammation and irritation that arise from many causes, such as:
A few other common reasons include aging, thyroid problems, and neurological problems.
A swallowing problem may be temporary when it’s from a sore throat or poorly fitting dentures. Persistent swallowing difficulties, however, arise from a variety of underlying issues, such as:
Although dysphagia can develop at any age, it’s more common in older adults. Over time, muscle weakness may grow, and you have a higher risk of progressive neurological disorders that affect swallowing, such as Parkinson’s disease.
Your treatment depends on the underlying cause of your throat problem. Voice disorder treatment may incorporate voice training, surgery to remove polyps, smoking cessation, and medications to thin mucus.
Swallowing disorders are often treated with medications, swallowing therapy, and in some cases, surgery.
If you have any trouble with your voice or swallowing, call Southern ENT Associates or book an appointment online.